Report

Transforming a Billion Lives: The Job Creation Potential from a Green Power Transition in the Energy Poor World

The Covid-19 crisis has resulted in millions of jobs lost across the developing world, with the most vulnerable communities hardest hit, including young people, women, and low-paid and low-skilled workers. There is nothing inevitable about these developments – they can and must be reversed.

According to the recent report from the UN’s climate science body, human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. Within this context, the high carbon intensity of the recovery in many geographies is another worrying trend, underlining the urgent need for a global energy transition.

Over the past decade, renewable power generation technologies have rapidly displaced fossil fuels as the most cost-effective building block for economic development. Distributed renewable energy technologies (DREs), in particular, have become a faster, nimbler, and more cost-effective solution for driving inclusive growth and reaching underserved populations.

Yet, we estimate that approximately 3.6 billion people still live in energy poverty today in 63 countries across Asia and Africa. The time is ripe for a global alliance of partners to come together with a plan to greatly expand the climate-friendly use of DREs.

This report explores a “what if” scenario – what if the world took action to harness the full potential of DREs to end energy poverty, setting in motion a green power transition across the energy poor world? It combines qualitative case studies with predictive economic modelling to explore the job creation potential that would flow from a steep and rapid increase in investment in DREs across 63 energy-poor countries in Asia and Africa. This would require $130 billion per annum of capital investment over the coming decade.

In “Transforming a Billion Lives: The Job Creation Potential From a Green Power Transition in the Energy-Poor World”, we estimate the job creation that would flow through tapping into the enormous growth potential of clean and distributed energies to end energy poverty to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 by 2030.

group of women folding fabrics
Report Insights

A Job-Creating Agenda

We find that a steep increase in investment in clean and distributed energy technologies would result in:

  • 30x

    the number of jobs created by a comparable investment in fossil fuels

  • 25million

    direct jobs created in energy-poor countries in Asia and Africa through distributed renewable energy

  • 520million

    new downstream jobs would be created in Asia and Africa by the utilization of the new electricity generated for so-called “productive uses”

  • 671million

    existing jobs would be improved

  • 4.2billion

    of CO2 saved by the distributed renewable energy pathway by 2030 compared to a comparable investment fossil fuels

  • Report

    Transforming a Billion Lives: The Job Creation Potential from a Green Power Transition in the Energy Poor World

    In “Transforming a Billion Lives: The Job Creation Potential From a Green Power Transition in the Energy-Poor World”, we estimate the job creation that would flow through tapping into the enormous growth potential of clean and distributed energies to end energy poverty to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 by 2030.
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